Packaging 1

Package converting

Great packaging makes life better as it provides convenience, sustainability, flexibility, and efficiency. Find out more…

What is package converting?

We exist in a world of ever-increasing and ever-evolving packaging designed to protect, contain, preserve, and dispense products while also making items easier to handle, transport, store, and use. Integrated counterfeit protection also ensures authenticity of goods, and built-in traceability facilitates product recalls.

UV cured packaging is available in many shapes, sizes, and constructions and is either rigid or flexible. Rigid packaging is made from paper, corrugated, cardboard, and carton board that is printed, varnished, and converted into various shapes. Flexible packaging is constructed using single- or multi-layer plastic and metal films that are front or reverse printed, laminated, and converted into forms that are sealed with heat and/or pressure.

Packaging converters and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies rely on a mix of UV printing and UV coating technologies to deliver aesthetically pleasing designs that promote and protect the package’s internal contents, develop innovative functionality tailored to specific markets and preferred portion sizes, differentiate products, and facilitate sustainability efforts. Examples of UV curable application technologies utilised by packaging converters include gravure, flexo, offset, digital inkjet, and other types of web and sheetfed coaters all of which can be equipped with GEW’s mercury arc, UV LED, and hybrid designs that enable operators to quickly swap between arc and LED curing systems.

For sheetfed metal decorating presses for three-piece cans, closures and boxes, as well as printing lines for glass and rigid plastic containers, refer to Product Decoration.

UV curing benefits to packaging converters

  • vibrant colours, bold graphics, and glossy varnishes

  • superior lightfastness, weatherability, chemical resistance

  • eliminates drying tunnels, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)

  • facilitates printing and laminating to a wide range of films and constructions

  • long UV LED wavelengths provide superior penetration through web materials

  • materials processed and converted without marring, filled, and shipped immediately following cure

GEW product advantages

  • complete and easy-to-integrate curing system designs including chillers, cooling fans, power and controls, mounting brackets, shielding, chilled rollers, and more

  • low-profile UV LED curing systems facilitate straightforward press integration

  • optional integrated nitrogen inertion for enhanced surface curing

  • remote performance monitoring and troubleshooting of all connected lamps

  • arc and LED cassettes easily removed in seconds using a single Allen key

Central Impression (CI) web printing for flexible packaging

In central impression (CI) printing, narrow, mid, and more often wide web materials are evenly and securely supported via a large centrally located cylinder with separate flexo print stations delivering graphics, text, varnishes, and coatings one transfer at a time via anilox cylinders and flexible photopolymer plates.

While CI presses can be solvent-based, water-based, or UV, newer UV LED curing technology offers more compact lamphead housings and significantly reduced heat transfer to substrates, constructions, and machine components; both of which significantly expand the potential of UV curing for flexible packaging jobs run on CI presses.

Relevant GEW products for this application:

Sheetfed-Offset-for-Corrugated-Packaging

Sheetfed corrugated and carton board coaters

Sheetfed corrugated and folding carton or carton board are typically direct flexo printed using water-based inks that are dried with infrared and followed by an inline end of press or offline UV coater. Glossy UV varnishes give packaged box goods an attractive look while also protecting printed text and graphics during converting, filling, shipping, and handling. Corrugated and folding carton represents the largest printed packaging category and is used to promote, protect, contain, and dispense all the numerous consumer and industrial goods that are supplied in rigid paper carton and box board packaging. 

Alternatively, corrugated and folding carton can be direct printed using UV digital inkjet and offset while lithographic lamination, litho lam for short, is a printing and converting process in which web or sheetfed UV offset printed paper is UV coated and laminated to corrugated substrates which are then die-cut, folded, and glued into rigid boxes.

Relevant GEW products for this application:

Inline flexo for narrow and mid web flexible packaging

Narrow web label converters are expanding into flexible packaging, and wide web flexible packaging converters are investing in equipment designed for mid-web and shorter runs. In order to meet these evolving needs, inline UV flexo presses are increasingly being designed to handle web widths up to 95 cm (37 inches).

Inline flexographic printing involves short press set-up times, lower-viscosity chemistry, and the ability to easily integrate other print and converting technologies on the same press. Flexo processes deliver inks, coatings, and adhesives to web substrates one transfer at a time via anilox cylinders and flexible photopolymer plates. UV curing lampheads are seamlessly integrated after each transfer station to enable the production of high quality and high functioning flexible packaging at press speeds up to 300 m/min (1000 ft/min).

Relevant GEW products for this application:

Other packaging converting applications

In addition to flexographic CI and stack presses, and inline and offline UV coaters for sheetfed corrugated, GEW’s mercury arc, UV LED and hybrid curing solutions are easily integrated into other packaging applications including:

  • flexo – narrow and mid-web R2R inline; sheetfed corrugated

  • gravure

  • offset – web and sheetfed

  • UV digital inkjet

  • flexible packaging film lamination

  • corrugated lithographic lamination (litho lam)

GEW will be pleased to assist your evaluation and decision-making process to ensure that the optimal mercury arc, LED, or hybrid solution is matched to your application, process, and integration needs. Please contact our experienced team. We are available to offer guidance on product selection and can deliver the level of experienced system integration and ancillary components you require.

Relevant GEW products for this application:

Speak directly to a sales representative

If you are unsure about which UV curing system best suits your requirements, we are here to help. Please contact one of our sales representatives directly.

David Lyus

Specialist UV Sales, UK:
David Lyus
International Sales Manager

T: +44 (0) 7713 085 381

Email David directly

Jennifer Heathcote

Specialist UV Sales, Americas:
Jennifer Heathcote
Business Development Manager

T: +1 440 381 5606

Email Jennifer directly